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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the max effective range of 00 buck shot? I'm trying to determine what ammo I want to use in my mossberg 500 with 18.5 in barrel. My primary sector of fire has a house about 70 yards away and the shot would have to go through my outer wall first.
 

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According to some of the data I have seen 00 Buck can travel upwards to 750 yards. I would surmise that at 70 yards it would still have the ability to penetrate walls depending upon construction.
 

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What's the construction of your walls? Brick, siding?
 

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What would be the max effective range of 00 buck shot?
By that I presume you mean: how far out can 00 buck still down a 2-legged assailant.

I know of no tests on defensive ammo at any distance. About the only tests I've seen are for duck rounds, but those don't really apply to SD.

Though, I don't think I'd want to trust it much beyond ~30yds or so. Slugs would be a different matter, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
By that I presume you mean: how far out can 00 buck still down a 2-legged assailant.

I know of no tests on defensive ammo at any distance. About the only tests I've seen are for duck rounds, but those don't really apply to SD.

Though, I don't think I'd want to trust it much beyond ~30yds or so. Slugs would be a different matter, of course.
No I mean I'm shooting max 12 feet. After that is my outer wall approx 60yards in my line of fire then another house. Is it assumed that those rounds will perpetrate that other house and injure someone?
 

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At 60 yards, 00 Buck is potentially lethal, and certainly capable of causing serious injury. Depends, of course, on how much the walls (yours and the neighbors') slow it down, but there's certainly a risk.

Personally, my 12 ga. load of choice is #4 buck. If your maximum distance is going to be 12 feet, then 00 is overkill and even #4 buck is bigger than you'd need. #6, #4 (not buck), or BB shot will be devastating at 12 ft., and will cut down on the chance of collateral damage. Some will argue that #6 is too small, but they're mistaken; Nobody's walking away from a well-placed 12 ga. load of #6 shot at 12 feet.
 
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No I mean I'm shooting max 12 feet. After that is my outer wall approx 60yards in my line of fire then another house. Is it assumed that those rounds will perpetrate that other house and injure someone?
Ah. So, a full-house SD grade 12ga 00 buck shell that misses an assailant, strikes a wall at 12ft and goes through to another wall at 60yds. Would that round still be capable of killing someone, at that range.

Figure the calibrated gel tests are at ~12ft from the muzzle, and the "good" stuff penetrates 12-18" (FBI rqmts). I wouldn't want to be struck from 60yds away, going through a wall. According to some drywall tests I've seen, #00 buck going through 3-4 boards minimum isn't uncommon. However, a gypsum board isn't a wall.

Going through two actual house walls 60yds apart, would such a load still be able to kill? Dunno. Could, I suppose. A child? Very possibly. A fully grown adult? Perhaps not. But if #00 buck goes through 4+ boards, it could go through two average house/apt walls and strike someone, yes. It could certainly make a mess of someone who's walking by just on the other side of the one wall.


Keep in mind:
  • 12ga #00 buck -- each pellet is ~.33cal, with 9 of them in the standard #00 buck shell.
  • FBI penetration spec is 12-18" in calibrated ballistic gel blocks (for stopping a 2-legged person).


TheBoxOTruth.com has done some penetration tests (through gypsum/wall board): The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth. #00 buck penetrated 7-8 boards, stopping in the 9th. But that was at ~5yds distance, not a test of (a) going through X boards, then (b) traveling 60yds and (c) then going through Y boards.

TheBoxOTruth.com has also done a general rifle/shotgun test through 4 simulated "walls": The Box O' Truth #14 - Rifles, Shotguns, and Walls. #00 buck penetrated all 4 of these "walls." (Of course, the typical well-made house wall is somewhat more complex than just one simple sheet of gypsum board.) Still, BOT's point of penetrating 4 walls "with ease, but there's a price to pay" is worth considering.

A test report from GunSite that was posted on ShotgunWorld.com back in 2007 also confirms that #00 buck penetrates several "walls" (boards): click.
 

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Effective range for defense depends on the choke; I'm guessing that your 500 is cylinder, so maybe 30 yards.

The range at which a stray pellet can be lethal is much greater. It's tough to find good data on it, as nobody really cares about how it drops deer at long range, but from the numbers I've seen, I'd guess at LEAST 100 yards.

At 12 feet, you don't need 00 for people. Any buckshot would do, and some birdshot, IMHO. Check out the test of birdshot at gunblast.com.
 

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If your statement of 12 ft. max is indeed valid (that's all you want it to do for you), then 00 buck would be a terrible choice if you have any possibility at all of collateral damage. It would be overkill (figuratively and literally.)
 

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The range at which a stray pellet can be lethal is much greater. It's tough to find good data on it, as nobody really cares about how it drops deer at long range, but from the numbers I've seen, I'd guess at LEAST 100 yards.
Extreme Shock 12ga #00 buck is listed at 1160fps and 2300ft-lbs. Winchester's Ranger 12ga #00 buck is listed at 1600fps. I've seen some numbers on 12ga #00 buck rounds go north of 2800ft-lbs.

Roughly similar in size to a .32auto round, each pellet at roughly similar speeds, though, would have significantly more (muzzle) energy than any .32auto. After going through 2-3 walls of an "average" home though? I wouldn't want to get hit by them.
 

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At 60 yards, 00 Buck is potentially lethal, and certainly capable of causing serious injury. Depends, of course, on how much the walls (yours and the neighbors') slow it down, but there's certainly a risk.

Personally, my 12 ga. load of choice is #4 buck. If your maximum distance is going to be 12 feet, then 00 is overkill and even #4 buck is bigger than you'd need. #6, #4 (not buck), or BB shot will be devastating at 12 ft., and will cut down on the chance of collateral damage. Some will argue that #6 is too small, but they're mistaken; Nobody's walking away from a well-placed 12 ga. load of #6 shot at 12 feet.
Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. #6...not enough energy. It might work, or it might be made almost worthless by some dense layered clothing. Oh sure the assailant might catch some that lodge under the skin and cause a nasty infection, but the likely immediate outcome is him covering that 12 feet after you shoot him and braining you with a bat or simply shooting you with something like a 9mm a few times.
 

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Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. #6...not enough energy. It might work, or it might be made almost worthless by some dense layered clothing. Oh sure the assailant might catch some that lodge under the skin and cause a nasty infection, but the likely immediate outcome is him covering that 12 feet after you shoot him and braining you with a bat or simply shooting you with something like a 9mm a few times.
I'd be fascinated to meet the person who would fight with a baseball bat despite an 8" deep, 3" diameter hole in his chest. Optimal? Perhaps not. Worthless? Far from it.
 

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I like #4 buck for home defense, also for coyotes.
I can say from experience that #4 buck at 70 yrds on a coyote is not effective. Under 10 yrds - Very effective on man and beast.
If it had to penetrate a wall, travel 60 yrds, and penetrate another wall - It would not be lethal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
After re looking my situation this is what I got. My last stand will be made in my bedroom which is on the second floor. Directly behind in my sector of fire is the outer wall, and 3 windows. Beyond that is a house about 50-60 yards which is also two stories that does have some widows that face my house. So the worst case is I fire and miss where the shot goes out my window travels that distance and into a window of the nearby house. I am trying to determine what would be the best shot gun ammo for HD for my situation that would stop a threat but not over penetrate to much. I don't want ammo that is not going to do the job, but also I don't want something that is going to over penetrate a country mile. I wonder at what point firing a shot gun parallel to the ground will the pellets drop to the point it isn't an issue. Typing this also has me thinking of my ammo selection for my AR. I currently have the Speer Gold Dot 64 gr JSP. Any help would be great.
 

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At 60 yards, 00 Buck is potentially lethal, and certainly capable of causing serious injury. Depends, of course, on how much the walls (yours and the neighbors') slow it down, but there's certainly a risk.

Personally, my 12 ga. load of choice is #4 buck. If your maximum distance is going to be 12 feet, then 00 is overkill and even #4 buck is bigger than you'd need. #6, #4 (not buck), or BB shot will be devastating at 12 ft., and will cut down on the chance of collateral damage. Some will argue that #6 is too small, but they're mistaken; Nobody's walking away from a well-placed 12 ga. load of #6 shot at 12 feet.
This^^^^^ I recently purchased an 870 clone, NEF Pardner Pump in 20 gauge. I wanted something the wife could handle also. Holds 5 plus 1. I keep 5 loaded , chamber empty. First two out are 2 3/4 high velocity #6 steel shot (would have preferred lead but its all I could find) , followed by two #3 buck and last one a slug. Then 5 slugs in the cuff on the stock. I wanted to minimize hitting my neighbors if I exited my house. Neighbors on each side are 50 to 100 feet which is close considering we live in a rural area. I figure after two loads of #6 if he's still up and moving (which I seriously doubt) will probably be seeking cover by then. Which by that time I'll need the buck shot and slugs. While giving serious considering to whats behind my target. (heaven forbid I should ever be in that situation) Mas Ayoob has a excellent article on the 20 gauge for home defense here:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob120.html


Even bird shot will be devastating at bedroom distance. Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense - Gunblast.com - YouTube


Now if I was using a 12 gauge I'd select two rounds of #4's, 6's or 8's. Followed by #1 buck, 00 buck and slugs.

They do say that a AR-15 is more likely to be deflected and not over-penetrate than your typical handgun round.

In the case such as yours I would pick a shotgun, leaning toward the 20 gauge.
 

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You need to pattern your shotgun. Generally 00 buck will open up about 1" per yard traveled with a cylinder bore 12 gauge. For defense against people my max range with 00 buck is 15 yards and slugs 35-50 yards. After over 30 years in law enforcement I will use nothing but 00 buck or slugs, irregardless of any internet test. I have seen some barrels shoot tight groups and some throw flyers that is why you must test YOUR gun.

Birdshot is the last thing you want for HD, it will not penetrate deep enough and will likely maim anyone you shoot.

Personally I have moved from a shotgun to a carbine for general duty, the big reason is that every projectile you fire has a price tag attached to it. I prefer a handgun for HD.
 

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I'd be ducking and dodging if buckshot was flung in my direction from 100 yards away.

I once took a coyote by spotlight with a Winchester Western Super-X No. 4 buckshot load and it paced off to be nearly exactly 70 yards. Perhaps it was the "golden buckshot." I'd previously patterned the load to about 75 yards, learning to hold what appeared to be a foot over the target to gain maximum coverage. This was a 2 1/4-oz. load fired from a 10 gauge by the way. 54 pellets. Seems like there were about 12 easily observable strikes on the coyote, from stem to stern.

The 10 gauge was a bust for long-range waterfowling for me but proved to be pretty handy for called-in varmints.









 
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I'd be ducking and dodging if buckshot was flung in my direction from 100 yards away.

I once took a coyote by spotlight with a Winchester Western Super-X No. 4 buckshot load and it paced off to be nearly exactly 70 yards. Perhaps it was the "golden buckshot." I'd previously patterned the load to about 75 yards, learning to hold what appeared to be a foot over the target to gain maximum coverage. This was a 2 1/4-oz. load fired from a 10 gauge by the way. 54 pellets. Seems like there were about 12 easily observable strikes on the coyote, from stem to stern.

The 10 gauge was a bust for long-range waterfowling for me but proved to be pretty handy for called-in varmints.
I always wanted an Ithaca Roadblocker.
 
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